A STORY OF GENOCIDE ONLY MATTERS WHEN THEY ARE OVER - PROOF? WHEN THEY ARE GOING ON WE IGNORE THEM
"We", meaning news outlets, especially TV channels, and leaders of the world's governments.
Darfur death toll mounts amid new war fears
UNITED NATIONS — The Darfur conflict claimed more than 2,300 lives in 2010, according to new UN figures released with Western powers expressing renewed alarm over the war.
With growing numbers of abductions and attacks on UN peacekeepers, some diplomats accuse Sudan's government of stepping up its offensive in the remote western region while international attention is focused on the self-determination vote in south Sudan.
The Sudanese military has frequently refused permission for UN peacekeepers to go to areas where trouble is reported, according to UN officials.
Three Bulgarian air crew on a helicopter carrying World Food Programme supplies were abducted last week and this week troubles flared in the west Darfur town of Nertiti after the killing of a Sudanese intelligence officer.
In December, Tanzanian soldiers at Khor Abeche in southern Darfur even decided to give out their own rations because food supplies were blocked for nearly a week and thousands of extra refugees had headed for the UN base amid renewed fighting, UN officials said.
UN rules say peacekeepers should not give their own food to refugees.
More convoys have been halted around Khor Abeche this week, according to the UN mission in Darfur, UNAMID.
At least 2,321 violent deaths were reported in Darfur in 2010, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report. At least 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since the conflict erupted in 2003 when tribal fighters rose up against the Khartoum government, the UN says.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court. He is accused of ordering the campaign by government troops and their Janjaweed militia allies in Darfur.
The renewed fears over the conflict and deadlocked peace talks were highlighted at a UN Security Council meeting on Sudan on Tuesday.
Britain's ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who has taken a lead role in Security Council efforts on Darfur, said there was "deep concern" at the renewed hostilities.
Last week's abduction of the UN air crew "highlights the lack of security and its impact on humanitarian operations in Darfur," he added.
Lyall Grant called on all rebel groups to join the peace process without delay or pre-conditions.
"These are not sporadic attacks. This is a real war between Sudanese army forces and the rebel groups," said French ambassador Gerard Araud. "It is at the expense of civilians who are chased, causing deaths and tens of thousands of new displaced."
US ambassador Susan Rice called on the Sudanese government to "immediately halt aerial bombardments," adding: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms attacks on civilians."
She said reaching a ceasefire between government forces and the rebel groups "should be the immediate objective of the peace process."
The Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minnawi Faction is the only group to have signed up to a 2006 peace accord with the government. But its fighters clashed with army troops last month.
The Sudanese government withdrew its negotiating team from Qatar, where talks with some rebels have been held, in late December but insisted it was not leaving the talks.
South Africa, a new member of the UN Security Council, called for a special international Darfur conference to find a political settlement.
However, one African diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "The Khartoum government is resigned to losing southern Sudan, but it is determined to win back control of Darfur. The referendum in the south has been perfect cover for all sides to open fire again."
USUN PRESS RELEASE #006
Jan. 18, 2011
Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United
Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Sudan, January 18, 2011
Thank you, Mr. President. I also want to thank SRSG Menkerios and President
Mkapa for their important briefings today.
This is a historic moment. And I join President Obama in congratulating the
people and leaders of Sudan for the successful completion of voting on the
referendum on independence. The people of Southern Sudan, after decades of war
and more than two million killed, have cast their votes peacefully and expressed
The promise of self determination was made to the Southern Sudanese people in
2005. Thanks to the commitment of the people of Sudan and the support of the
international community, that promise was finally fulfilled. Let us not
underestimate what this referendum means to the people of Southern Sudan. We
have all heard reports of long lines forming overnight on January 8th, and of
people standing in line for hours to vote. We have even heard of a case in
which a river ferry broke down, and voters jumped into the presumably
crocodile-infested river and swam across to reach the polling station.
As President Obama said after the polling closed, “The past week has given the
world renewed faith in the prospect of a peaceful, prosperous future for all of
the Sudanese people – a future that the American people long to see in Sudan.”
To the men and women of UNMIS: the United States commends you for your
Thanks to your tireless efforts, under daunting challenges and difficult
circumstances, the people of Sudan have been able to take a huge step forward on
the path of full implementation of the CPA, which ended a 23-year civil war. To
Special Representative Menkerios, my government congratulates you. You are
performing an incredibly difficult job with grace and wisdom. We thank you. We
also welcome the work that the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the
Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau, the Government of Sudan, and the Government of
Southern Sudan have done to ensure that this historic referendum occurred on
time, peacefully, and reflects the will of the people.
We welcome the January 16 statement from the Secretary General’s Referenda
Monitoring Panel, in which the panel said it was satisfied that the referendum
process “allowed the people of Southern Sudan to express their will freely.” A
number of other observer missions have also already released preliminary
statements. On January 17, the Carter Center called the referendum “peaceful
and credible” and “broadly consistent with international standards.” The Arab
League stated that the process was “in line with international standards.” The
European Union Observer Mission commended a “peaceful, credible voting process,
with overwhelming turnout.”
On January 16, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the
African Union called the referendum “free, fair, and credible.” We commend the
work of the hundreds of international observers and thousands of domestic
observers. The United States continues to urge all to respect the results of
Of course, we must all focus on the challenging – and promising – road ahead.
We urge the parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible to
negotiate a rapid and sustainable resolution to the question of Abyei and other
outstanding CPA issues.
The United States fully supports the efforts of AU High-Level Implementation
Panel Chair President Thabo Mbeki to facilitate these agreements. We reiterate
that any resolution regarding the future of the Abyei area must be reached with
the consent of both parties, through a political settlement or a process that
respects the rights and needs of those communities traditionally associated with
Along with the status of Abyei, there are other outstanding issues requiring
urgent attention, such border demarcation, citizenship, wealth-sharing
agreements, natural resource management, the division of the national debt,
security arrangements, currency arrangements, and international treaties and
legal obligations, which are all equally important. We also consider peaceful,
inclusive popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan that reflect
the will of the people to be essential components of CPA implementation. We
call on the parties to bring the same spirit to these negotiations as they have
brought to the conduct of the referendum itself.
For all of the inspiring events in Sudan over the last week, the United States
laments the loss of life in the Abyei and border region and reiterates its deep
concern regarding the arrest, detention, and harassment of human rights
activists and journalists by the Government of Sudan’s security forces, which
prevented both an SPLM leader and an Umma Party leader from conducting
television interviews. In addition, four university students were arrested in
separate incidents for trying to host discussions.
We urge Council members to join us in calling on the Government of Sudan to
release those who have been imprisoned unjustly, including those jailed for
exercising such basic rights as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and
freedom of assembly.
As President Obama has made clear, the United States wants the leaders in Sudan
to choose the path of peace and prosperity for all of the Sudanese people, and
he has extended the U.S. hand in that spirit. In order for this future to be
realized, however, Sudan, too, must work with the international community.
This includes cooperating with UNMIS and UNAMID to facilitate full freedom of
access and movement for UN peacekeepers and for humanitarian workers.
This access is especially important given the alarming reports that Sudanese
Armed Forces have burned homes and blocked civilians’ access to UNAMID in Khor
Abeche, and that the Government of Sudan violated the North/South ceasefire with
repeated aerial bombardments into the Kiir River Valley – in addition to the
all-too-frequent reports of aerial bombardment in Jebel Mara and the Government
of Sudan’s ongoing refusal to grant UNAMID patrols access to affected
populations, despite the Status of Forces Agreement.
We are deeply saddened and troubled by the news that on January 13, three
Bulgarian helicopter crew members contracted to the UN World Food Program were
kidnapped in Darfur. We convey our condolences to their families. And we urge
the Government of Sudan to do its utmost to facilitate their safe return. We
recall that 40,000 residents of Darfur were displaced from their homes in
December alone. Civilians continue to live under the threat of attack, and of
sexual and gender-based violence. It is thus in all of our interests to
continue to work to prevent genocide.
The United States again calls on the Government of Sudan to immediately halt
aerial bombardments, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms attacks on
civilians. Obtaining a ceasefire between the Government of Sudan and the armed
movements should be the immediate objective of the peace process. The political
process for a Darfur peace agreement must be reinvigorated, and all relevant
parties must come back to the negotiating table.
As we discussed during consultations on Sudan on January 6, the unity shown by
this Council has gone a long ways towards supporting the parties as they have
stayed on the path of peace. We need to continue to watch closely as the
parties continue to implement the CPA. As progress is made, we should welcome
it and offer continued encouragement. But, just as importantly, we need to be
prepared to insist upon and to support full and final implementation of the CPA
on such issues as protection of minorities and rejection of proxy militias, and
other threats to peace and security in Sudan.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Group sites dramatic increase in large-scale violence, threats to credible Darfur peace process
“We are heartened by the recent appointment of Ambassador Dane Smith, and we hope he will have an opportunity to increase U.S. engagement on Darfur at this critical time,” concluded Osman. “Given the broad concern Americans have demonstrated on this issue and the strong promises President Obama made as a candidate and since his inauguration, it would be a mistake to pursue a policy with the goal of anything less than meaningful peace, protection and justice for civilians in Darfur."
our humanity in the balance